Yes, Jim E, Cadillac did have night vision a few years back. I drove it but couldn't get the hang of using it. I like this idea better -- if it sees a "hot spot," it displays a yellow triangle on the head-up display.
The best innovation I see is the night vision with "heads up" warning. The GPS terrain feature is more "tecnnology in desparate search of a use", and I fear, would not only take some of the fun out of driving, but reduce some of the driver's skills (but I repeat myself).
In one corner of the world, coincidentally the country where Roll-Royce was founded, this car will be known as a "pratmobile" (US citizens might have to look up the definition of "prat"). This is not a vehicle for reaching your destination in speed, safety and comfort. A BMW 5 or Mercedes C-class can do that. This is a car for showing everyone else how much money you have.
RR has come out with a driver-oriented performance vehicle designed by a BMW engineer. Quite a change from the days when Bentley was their performance division. In the old days, RR ignored the driver (assumed to be your chauffeur), emphasized the luxury of the back seat (where the owner sat), and listed the horsepower as "adequate."
RR had no choice but to produce a performance version in their range, the alternative would be to loose customers to other luxury brands that have them already. They couldn't call it a Bently because when RR was sold-off, the VAG group bought the name. BMW only got the RR car devision.
As an Englishman, of course it was sad to see RR fall into "enemy" hands, but it has to be said that BMW have largely respected the RR tradition for ultra-high quality engineering, luxury and innovation.
Very cute, but are there data showing that this needlessly complicated system drives the car any more efficiently than a moderately skilled human? While it certainly can predict terrain, can it know things like weather or traffic conditions?
It is ironic that the same company which once built the world's most efficient aircraft engines would be turning out this gas hog.
I would agree that a car like this is to show off one's wealth. 625 HP in a passenger car? IT could win prizes at a dragstrip, no doubt, but the price of the car could probably buy some dragstrips. And all of that electronics, oh wow, who would ever be able to service it? Not even RR itself, would be my guess. But it is probably the highest quality "way over the top" car that one would find. But I doubt that I could even afford to put gas in the tank. BUT I don't care.
I'm making a comment now, 8 months late, as I just saw this article posted in a Design-News Daily Update email which just broadcast on 12/30/2013.
Satellite-Assisted transmission shifting-? Talk about taking the fun out of driving a high-priced performance vehicle -- Might as well come with a queen-sized sleeper, and satin sheets. Engineering Over-Kill. Sounds like taking the train, with a sleeping berth. Arabian Sheiks, for sure.
Laughing over here – I love your inference. I often go straight to the "over-compensating for something smaller" idea, but I saw one other previous comment suggesting the only likely buyers would be Arabian Sheiks. Probably accurate.
I suppose if you could afford a car costing north of $320K, gas mileage would not be an issue. I would love to know what MPG this "ride" migh provide. With a curb weight of 5200 pounds, can't be that much . Great post Charles.
The new RR Wraith does sound like quite an engineering marvel, but then I find myself wondering why anybody would be willing to spend that much for a car. So while it is certainly a demonstration of what determined engineers can produce when cost is not much of a consideration, it does bring to my mind the question of "why bother?" $320K is more than three years pay for a whole lot of people.
One other question arises, at least in my mind, is how well would the "wraith" even survive in the saturated saltspray environment in a southeastern Michigan winter. The salinity is far worse than the military salt spray test, and it goes on for a minimum of three months. So the sealing needs to be at least perfect and long lasting as well.
And then given the pace of development, how long will spare parts be available? Or is this car to be "serviced as an assembly" the way so many things are?
Transfers the control of a large number of motion axes from one numerical control kernel to another within a CNC system, using multiple NCKs, and enables implement control schemes for virtually any type of machine tool.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.